Trichomonas vaginalis

     T. vaginalis is the causative agent of human trichomoniasis. Infection is acquired primarily through direct sexual contact although neonatal infection has also been reported. The trophozoites colonize and parasites in vagina or prostate of infected hosts. As the parasite multiplies, it attaches to the squamous epithelium in the genital tract. Infection in males is usually asymptomatic while the spectrum of clinical trichomoniasis in women ranges from the chronic carrier to acute inflammation of the vagina. Recent reports suggested that trichomoniasis is also associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, increased susceptibility to HIV and the risk of cervical neoplasia. The annual incidence of human trichomoniasis is more than 170 million cases worldwide.

  科學大解碼: 陰道鞭毛蟲 [video] | Wikipedia on T. vaginalis
  CDC Fact sheet on Trichomonas infection  |
CDC STD information: Trichomoniasis
  19th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research
 1. Trichomoniasis: Why is It the Neglected STD? by M. Hobbs
 2. A Trich-y parasite: genomics, population genetics and evolution of Trichomonas vaginalis by Jane Carlton
Modulation of exosomal cargo by Trichomonas vaginalis endosymbionts

Charles University in Prague teamed up with Chang Gung University to study the role of protozoan exosome on virus transmission supported by the MOST-GACR Joint Research Cooperation Funding. Trichomonas vaginalis is the causative agent of trichomoniasis, the most common non-viral sexually transmitted infection (STI) with a worldwide incidence of over 220 million cases. Trichomonads often harbor viral (TVV) or Mycoplasma hominis endosymbionts that can amplify the severity of infection. However, the mechanisms of communication between endosymbiont, parasite, and host cell are unknown. This cooperation project is based on mutual sharing of data, personnel, and complementary expertise between two leading groups that provide a synergic effect towards investigation of a common aim: to elucidate how presence of endosymbionts (TVV and M. hominis) modify exosomal cargo of T. vaginalis and may stimulate the parasite virulence.

  Chang Gung University and Charles University in Prague scientists teamed up to investigate the role of protozoan exosomes on virus transmission
The role of microproteins on the regulation of iron stress response in Trichomonas vaginalis

Microprotein (MP) is defined as a protein composed of less than 100 amino acids. Accumulated experimental data showed that microproteins play important regulatory roles in various biological processes, including tumor progression, stress response, and signaling transduction. However, microprotein has been under-studied because classical genome annotation methods do not consider open reading frames (ORF) less than 100 amino acids as putative genes. Recent developments in new-generation sequencing techniques allowed us to identify novel MPs and obtain a more comprehensive view of these novel MP's expression profiles. Up to date, MP research had not been explored in any protozoan. This three-year research proposal will use Trichomonas vaginals as a model system to identify and characterize the putative functional roles of MP under iron stress. T. vaginalis is the causing agent of the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) of nonviral origin in humans trichomoniasis. Iron is an essential element for the survival of T. vaginalis, which sustains hydrogenosomal quality, energy metabolism, and redox homeostasis.

Our preliminary study based on an integrated genome-wide ORF screening, transcriptomic and exosome proteomic data analysis showed that MP did express in the T. vaginalis transcriptome and proteome. These exciting results prompted us to initiate studies on this unexplored field. We aimed to investigate the functional roles of iron-dependent microproteins in T. vaginalis and to establish an experimental and analytical platform for studying microproteins.